How newsjacking can put you in the media spotlight

    Generating positive coverage for your organisation across TV, radio, and print is a very worthy goal, but it requires a complex understanding of the media and its news cycles.

    Have you heard of “newsjacking”?

    You may think it is another word for “publicity stunt” but it is, in fact, more than that and when used effectively, can help raise brand and reputational awareness of you and your organisation.


    What is newsjacking?

    Newsjacking is a relatively new term and refers to the art of offering your thoughts and opinions on a breaking news story, relevant to your business or industry, so you can harness media attention.

    The Oxford Dictionary named Newsjacking as “Word of the Year” in 2017 and for good reason. The strategy can be a powerful public relations tool when utilising reactive PR strategies to connect with your target audience, boost traffic to your website, and increase your profile and credibility as a thought leader for your industry.

    Case study: The Salvation Army & the “Pinkenba Solution”

    Long-term Adoni Media client The Salvation Army Queensland attracted widespread media attention when it reacted fast to news of the Queensland Government committing $10 million to emergency accommodation for the homeless.

    The Salvos put out a media release welcoming the decision and offering to oversee the day-to-day running of the disused Pinkenba Quarantine facility.

    A press conference was held outside the site the day after the government announcement, involving Salvos State Homeless Manager Aaron Pilmott, and Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner.

    The media results were impressive. The story appeared as a two-page spread, including a case study, in the Courier Mail, across all four major TV networks, and major metropolitan radio stations.

    In one day, The Salvos featured in 14 stories, achieving an audience reach of almost 1 million with an ASR (Advertising Sales Rate) value of more than $111,000.

    As a result of the widespread media coverage, Salvos spokesperson Aaron Pimlott cemented himself further as an authority and “thought leader” on homelessness in Queensland.

    Perhaps the most satisfying result though was social housing being offered to homeless man Robert Johnston, who featured in the Salvos’ Video News Release as a case study, within one week of the story making headlines.

    Adoni Media has successfully implemented multiple PR campaigns for The Salvation Army Queensland, helping to position the organisation as “top of mind” when providing practical solutions in dealing with our most vulnerable people.

    How to Newsjack

    Newsjacking is time sensitive and very much dependent on news cycles.

    When news breaks, interest spikes quickly, and journalists are often scrambling for detailed information. At this stage, journalists are also looking for credible spokespeople who can provide extra information, expert opinion, and fresh perspectives on the story.

    A reputable PR agency can help crystallise key messaging, send media alerts, and reach out to media organisations on your behalf to quickly arrange interviews.

    Experience counts when dealing with the media and working with an agency, and at Adoni Media, our team of seasoned and experienced journalists have decades of inside knowledge on how journalists and newsrooms operate.

    The Benefits of Newsjacking

    There are many benefits to newsjacking, and one is the ability to generate free publicity. Your name, title, and organisation, is referenced in news stories, giving you instant public recognition.

    The process brings automatic attention to your organisation and widens your sphere of influence. A company may also see increased traffic to their website as people search for information about who your spokesperson is, or the original story.

    Increased brand awareness and engagement are also benefits as an audience reacts to trending content.

    Finally, there is the added advantage of establishing yourself as a “go to” expert in your field, just as we saw in the Salvos media opportunity.

    Capitalising on your Newsjacking moment

    The cycle of news is swift and maximising your moment in the media is important.

    An organisation or company can extend attention by tweeting your opinion and comments, posting your thoughts and media coverage to other social media sites, engaging with followers via comments, updating blogs, and looking out for any timely “follow up” media opportunities.

    Media Training

    Media interviews can be daunting, especially when reacting swiftly to a breaking news story within tight timeframes.

    Undergoing Media Training is the best way to make sure you are always “media ready” and have the confidence to be a credible spokesperson.

    It can teach you how to stay focussed on delivering your key messaging, navigate difficult questions, and staying calm under pressure.

    If you would like to be prepared for your next newsjacking opportunity, now is the time to reach out for a confidential chat on how we can maximise every media opportunity.

    Adoni Media provides tailored, tested, and trusted solutions across PR, media training and crisis communications.